THE ODYSSEY PROJECT
Creativity. Culture. Rigour. Laughter.
In person or online.
The Odyssey Project introduces children to the story of one of literature's most epic voyages - Homer's 'The Odyssey'. We meet Odysseus at the end of the Trojan War, and see his ill-fated journey back home.
In doing so, we encounter the cyclops Polyphemus, the sorceress Circe and many other a perilous obstacle.
Together, as we bring the story to life, we will explore what it means to be human and to search for meaning.
This project can be facilitated in school with your pupils, or can be delivered online.
The online version is delivered over the course of five hour-long lessons, delivered over Google Meet or Zoom.
The sessions are all facilitated by Jonny Walker.
Through engaging with extracts from Homer's 'The Odyssey' as well as storytelling, role-play, writing-in-role and analysing paintings, children learn of a rich interpretation of one of the oldest stories of European civilisation.
The focus of the project is on developing deep enquiry, philosophical discussion and analytical skills. I make it very fun too - unashamedly so. Drawing out the strangeness of the story, with comedic retelling, ensures that all children will be able to access the story, and enjoy doing so.
My interpretation of the story includes all of the events in The Odyssey, though we change the order of Chapters into a chronological order, for the sake of clarity.
Pupils in Years 5 and 6 will engage with extracts of the Homeric text and learn high level comprehension strategies, as well as develop techniques of storytelling and art appreciation. Through lively facilitation, children freely take roles within the narrative and the project is a great vehicle for the development of students' oracy and performance.
Pupils in Year 3 and 4 will take part in the project as above, but with less of a focus on extracts from the Homeric text. The focus is on philosophical discussion, prediction, storytelling and enquiry.
The sessions all build on each other, and regular questioning and quizzing ensures children can manage the ambitious and very rewarding task of holding onto the story. Each session draws out key vocabulary and each session also draws out reflection on key figures in the story. The final session gives children space to go deep into their discussions and reflections, having engaged with a full telling, and we create time for children to re-tell themselves, with a combination of writing and art.
Session One - The Journey Home Begins: Raids, Lotus-Eaters and The Cyclops
Session Two - Poor Choices: The Witch, The Pigmen and the Wrath of Zeus
Session Three - Getting Closer: Imprisonment, Athena and the Bravery of Telemachus
Session Four - The Revenge of Wisdom: Arrival in Ithaka
Session Five - The Slaying of the Suitors
I endeavour to get pupils fully involved in the sessions; speaking, listening, thinking and performing.
I can facilitate for up to 120 pupils at a time.
This may mean multiple year groups, or you could paid up with a local school and split the cost.
Cost for the five live online sessions - £800
Note - I also teach the Odyssey Project online, and have taught it to children worldwide.
I WAS AMAZED AT HOW, THROUGH JONNY'S STORYTELLING, WHICH WAS BOTH INTRICATE AND ENGAGING, THE CHILDREN WERE ABLE TO INTERNALISE THE COMPLEX NARRATIVE AND USE ALL OF THE NEW VOCABULARY.
RICHARD HODKIN, LKS2 PHASE LEADER AT PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
"THROUGH THE DRAMA ACTIVITIES AND RE-ENACTMENT OF KEY PARTS OF THE STORY, THE CHILDREN WERE ABLE TO FULLY IMMERSE THEMSELVES IN THE NARRATIVE AND KEY THEMES OF THE ILIAD."
LISA NAYLOR, TEACHER AND P4C TRAINER AT GALLIONS PRIMARY SCHOOL